As announced in the June 2012 edition of Urban Design Forum, a compendium reflecting on and celebrating the progress of urban design in Australia over the past 25 years is in preparation. The initiative was stimulated by the imminent marker of the 100th edition of Urban Design Forum, but is has a much broader intent than simply celebrating that milestone.
There has been a considerable, and diverse, interest in the request for contributions, and John Byrne, Bruce Echberg and Bill Chandler are now grappling with the plethora of people and subjects, and shaping the book before confirming the invitation to write. The intention for the publication is to provide a very useful, well designed, full colour reference book, rather than a super-glossy coffee table piece. This publication cannot cover the whole field, but themes are evolving, and the challenge will be to mould the individual contributions into an attractive and enjoyable publication that can assist future action in our cities and towns.…and looking toward the future Are we there yet? Bruce Echberg’ sobering article on page 3 of this edition challenges us to keep progressing. So we can think about:
• beyond the Australian Urban Design Protocol – is it having the intended influence on best (or better) practice?
• are Green Star Communities to become the norm – and how do we retrofit the old unsustainable suburbs?
•is the demise of the much-admired South Australian Integrated Design Commission the end of an era – or a new beginning?
• the UK initiative of an annual Urban Design Week – could there be an Australian equivalent?
• beyond Urban Design Forum No 100 – is there still a need for hard copy publishing?
• can the Urban Design Forum website be developed – the UK Urban Design website is much more engaging.
• there seems to be reducing interest in, and resourcing of, urban design by state governments – how can we raise the profile and skill level at the local government level.
That’s a lot of questions, and they might stimulate you to write an article for the 100th edition of Urban Design Forum, copy due 10 November 2012.